Department of Surgery Faculty
Martin G. Schwacha, PhD
BS, 1981, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
MS, 1991, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
PhD, 1992, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
1992-1994, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Immunology, Gamble Institute for Medical Research, Cincinnati OH
1994-1997, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Immunology/Microbiology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Research interests: Dr. Schwacha's laboratory focuses on the role of the innate immune system in the host's response to traumatic injury, with particular emphasis on the response to burn injury. Major burn injury induces an immunopathogenic response with the release of a wide range of pro-inflammatory mediators by macrophages and other cells that contribute to the development of numerous complications including; immune dysfunction, SIRS, sepsis, delayed wound healing and multiple organ failure. Dr. Schwacha's laboratory has shown that post-burn immunosuppression is induced by macrophage-mediated processes. Other findings indicate a central role for gamma-delta T-cells in the post-burn immunoinflammatory responses including the regulation of macrophage hyperactivity, neutrophil-mediated organ injury, and wound healing. This T-cell subset is uniquely positioned in the immune/inflammatory axis to influence tissue repair, inflammation, anti-microbial activity and overall immune status post-injury. Current studies are directed at improving our understanding of gamma-delta T-cells in post-burn immunoinflammatory processes in both experimental and clinical settings. Other areas of major interest are the impact of opiate analgesics on post-injury immune responses and the relationship(s) between insulin resistance post-injury immune function.
Smith, W.Z., Harrison, H.B., Salhanick, M.A., Higgins, R.A., Oritz, A., Olson, J.D., Schwacha, M.G., Harrison, C.R., Aydelotte, J.D., Stewart, R.M., Dent, D.L. (2013) A small amount can make a difference: a prospective human study of the paradoxical coagulation characteristics of hemothorax. American Journal of Surgery 206:904-909.
Rani M, Zhang Q, Schwacha MG. (2014) Burn wound gamma-delta T-cells support a Th-2 and Th- 17 immune response. Journal of Burn Care and Research 35:46-53. (Lonza Award recipient)
Schwacha, M.G., Rani, M., Zhang, Q., Nunez-Cantu, O., Cap, A.P. (2014) Mitochondrial damage- associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) activate gamma delta (γδ) T-cells. Innate Immunity. 20:261-268.
Rani, M., Zhang, Q., Scherer, M.A., Cap, A.P., Schwacha, M.G. (2014) Activated skin ?? T-cells regulate T-cell infiltration of the wound site after burn. Innate Immunity (epub ahead of print).
Rani, M., Zhang, Q., Schwacha, M.G. (2014) Gamma delta (γδ) T-cells regulate wound myeloid cell activity after burn. Shock 42:133-141.
Darlington DL, Craig T, Gonzales MD, Schwacha MG, Cap AP, Dubick MA (2013) Acute coagulopathy of trauma in the rat. Shock 39:440-446. PMID: 23481505
Schwacha, M.G., Rani, M., Zhang, Q., Nunez-Cantu, O., Cap, A.P. (2013) Mitochondrial damage- associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) activate gamma delta (??) T-cells. Innate Immunity (epub ahead of print). PMID: 23757324
Schwacha, M.G., Zhang, Q., Rani, M., Craig, T., Oppeltz, R.F. (2012) Burn enhances Toll-like receptor induced responses by circulating leukocytes. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 5(2):136-144.
Holloway, T.L., Schwacha, M.G. (2012) The Th-17 response and its potential role in post-injury pulmonary complications. International Journal of Burns and Trauma 2(1):11-17.
Mace, J.E., Park, M.S., Mora, A.G., Chung, K.K., Martini, W., White, C.E., Holcomb, J.B., Merrill, G.A., Dubick, M.A., Wolf, S.E., Wade, C.E., Schwacha, M.G. (2012) Patients with burns have higher interleukin 6 and 8 levels compared to trauma patients with no burns over the first week of hospitalization. Burns 38:136-144.
Rani M., Schwacha M.G. (2012) Aging and the Pathogenic Response to Burn. Aging and Disease. 3:171-180.
Oppeltz, R.F., Rani, M., Zhang, Q., Schwacha, M.G. (2012) Gamma delta (&$947;δ) T-cells are critical in the up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase at the burn site. Cytokine (in press).
Oppeltz, R.F. Schwacha, M.G. (2011) The Role of &$947;δ T-Cells in the Healing of Burn Wounds In: Enteric Infections and Immunity. (Middleton, J.E. ed.) Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY. pp. 95-108.
Oppeltz RF, Zhang Q, Rani M, Sasaki JR, Schwacha MG. Increased expression of cardiac IL-17 after burn. J Inflamm (Lond). 2010 Jul 27;7:38.
Sasaki JR, Zhang Q, Schwacha MG. Burn induces a Th-17 inflammatory response at the injury site. Burns. 2011 Jun;37(4):646-651. Epub 2011 Feb 24. Chung KK, Wolf SE, Renz EM, Allan PF, Aden JK, Merrill GA, Shelhamer MC, King BT, White CE, Bell DG, Schwacha MG, Wanek SM, Wade CE, Holcomb JB, Blackbourne LH, Cancio LC. (2010) High frequency percussive ventilation and low tidal volume ventilation in burns: a randomized controlled trial. Critical Care Medicine (Epub ahead of print).
Oppeltz RF, Zhang Q, Rani M, Sasaki JR, Schwacha MG. (2010) Increased expression of cardiac IL-17 after burn. Journal of Inflammation 7:38
Hsieh CH, Nickel EA, Hsu JT, Schwacha MG, Bland KI, Chaudry, IH. Trauma-hemorrhage and hypoxia differentially influence Kupffer cell phagocytic capacity: Role of hypoxia-inducible-factor- 1α and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt activation. Ann Surg. 2009 Dec;250(6):995-1001.
Schwacha MG, Thobe BM, Daniel T, Hubbard WJ. Impact of thermal injury on wound infiltration and the dermal inflammatory response. J Surg Res. 2010 Jan;158(1):112-120.
Schwacha, MG, Daniel T. (2008) Up-regulation of Toll-like receptors on circulating γδ T-cells following burn injury. Cytokine Cytokine 44:328-334.
Schwacha MG. γδT-cells: Potential regulators of the post-burn inflammatory response. Burns. 2008 Oct 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Schwacha MG, Nickel E, Daniel T. Burn Injury-Induced Alterations in Wound Inflammation and Healing is Associated with Suppressed Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1alpha Expression. Mol Med 14(9-10)628-633.
Schwacha M.G. (2008) Opiates and the development of post-injury complications: a review. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 1:42-49.
Daniel, T., Thobe, B.M., Chaudry, I.H. Choudhry, M.A., Hubbard, W.J., Schwacha, M.G. (2007) Regulation of the postburn wound inflammatory response by gammadelta T-cells. Shock 28:278-283.
Schwacha, M.G., McGwin, G., Jr., Hutchinson, C.B., Cross, J.M., MacLennan, P.A., Rue, L.W. III. (2006) The contribution of opiate analgesics to the development of infectious complications in burn patients. American Journal of Surgery 192:82-86.
Daniel, T., Alexander, M., Hubbard, W.J., Chaudry, I.H., Choudhry, M.A., Schwacha, M.G. (2006) Nitric oxide contributes to the development of post-injury immune dysfunction and a Th-2 T-cell phenotype. Journal of Cellular Physiology 208:418-427.
Alexander, M., Daniel, T., Chaudry, I.H., Choudhry, M.A., Schwacha, M.G. (2006) T-cells of the gamma-delta TCR lineage play an important role in the post-burn wound healing process. Journal of Burn Care and Research. 1:18-25.
Schwacha, M.G., Holland, L.T., Chaudry, I.H., Messina, J.L. (2005) Genetic variability in the immune-inflammatory response after major burn injury. Shock 23: 123-128.
Alexander, M., Daniel, T., Chaudry, I.H., Schwacha, M.G. (2005) Opiate analgesics contribute to the development of post-injury immunosuppression. Journal of Surgical Research 129:161-168.
Toth, B. Alexander, M., Daniel, T., Chaudry, I.H., Hubbard, W.J., Schwacha, M.G. (2004) The role of gamma-delta T-cells in the regulation of neutrophil-mediated tissue damage after thermal injury. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 76:542-552.
Alexander, M., Daniel, T., Chaudry, I.H., Schwacha, M.G (2004) MAP kinases differentially regulate the expression of macrophage hyperactivity after thermal injury. Journal of Cellular Physiology 201:35-44.
American Association of Immunologists
American Burn Association
International Society for Burn Injuries
Society for Leukocyte Biology
Surgical Infection Society
Honors and awards:
2013, Assistant Chairman, UTHSCSa Institutional Animal Care & Use Program (IACUC)
2011, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Burns & Trauma
2009, Research Committee of the American Burn Association
2005, Lindberg Award, American Burn Association (senior author with M. Alexander et al.)
2004, Who's Who in the World
2003, Who's Who in America
In the news:
Martin G. Schwacha, PhD, and the Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery have been awarded a contract with the Department of the Army entitled 'Characterization of Immune-Inflammatory Response to Trauma in Blood' for $283,364/yr. This study will be a collaborative venture with investigators at the US Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, TX, to improve our understanding of how the immune and coagulatory responses in trauma patients early after injury impact their subsequent outcomes in the ICU and hospital. (6-6-12)
Congratulations to Martin Schwacha, PhD, Professor of Surgery Research and Director of the Trauma Immunopathology Laboratory, who has been awarded $9,900 for academic year 2011-2012 by the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science in support of his Translational Technology Resources (TTR) application entitled, "The Th-17 Response and Pulmonary Complications in the ICU." A portion of this funding will be used to support the first year of research by General Surgery Resident Travis Holloway, MD, in Dr. Schwacha's Immunopathology Research Lab. (6-1-11)
Congratulations to Martin Schwacha, PhD, Director of the Trauma Immunopathology Laboratory, and lab research staff Richard Oppeltz, MD; Meenakshi Rani, PhD; and Qiong Zhang, whose abstract entitled 'Increased expression of cardiac IL-17 after burn', was published in the July 2010 Journal of Inflammation. (4-25-11)
Congratulations to Martin Schwacha, PhD, Director of the Trauma Immunopathology Laboratory, and Qiong Zhang, Research Associate, whose abstract entitled 'Burn induces a Th-17 inflammatory response at the injury site', has been e-published in the June 2011 Burns journal. (4-25-11)
Congratulations to Martin Schwacha, PhD, professor of Trauma Research and Director of the Trauma Immunopathology Research Laboratory: Dr. Schwacha has received a three-year grant for $1,446,481 from the Department of the Army for his project entitled 'Systems Biology of Coagulation and Trauma-Induced Coagulopathy'. This multicenter project will allow Dr. Schwacha and his colleagues to systematically examine and characterize the multiple aspects of the biology of coagulation after trauma and burn injury. (11-16-10)
Biosketch: Dr. Schwacha joins us from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he had been an Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Pathology and Microbiology. He received his PhD from Albany Medical College, Albany NY in 1992 and completed postdoctoral studies at the Gamble Institute, Cincinnati, OH and Temple University, Philadelphia, PA prior to joining the Surgery faculty at Brown University, Providence, RI in 1997. Dr. Schwacha's research has been presented at numerous scientific meetings and as an invited speaker and visiting professor. He has served on a number of NIH special emphasis panels and as a science/research advisor for other professional organizations. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine as well as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other professional journals. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.